Last month, Audi, BMW and Mercedes partnered up in submitting a bid for the Nokia HERE mapping business. According to Automotive News citing people familiar with the matter, Nokia favors the three automakers in taking over the mapping software.
Nokia is aiming to pressure the bidders to increase their offer by continuing to entertain offers from others.
But the German automakers may hesitate to pay the as much as $4 billion for HERE, the sources said. Final bids are due this week.
Nokia HERE supplies maps data for about 80 percent of cars with in-dash navigation systems in North America and Europe.
Several private-equity bidders, including Apax Partners, have dropped out of the race because they believe the carmakers are the preferred bidder, the people said. Baidu, which previously teamed up with Apax and Uber Technologies, people familiar with the matter said last month, may now join the carmakers, which could help them expand the mapping business in China.